The turn of the year is when many people decide to make some changes in their lives. But most folks overlook one important element that will make or break your decision(s) to change.
The 'New Year Resolutions' have become something of a cliche with many people (including me) having become a little cynical when folks give off a list of things that they're going to change.
I wrote about making changes here: http://craig-west.co.uk/2011/09/you-have-to-make-change-happen-not-just-hope-for-it/ but there is one important thing that most folks overlook when making changes in their lives.
That one thing is 'PERSISTENCE'.
You see, without persistence (or tenacity) you'll start to flag when your commitment to your resolution is tested.
What do I mean? Well, let's work through an example:
Imagine that you've decided to get fitter in the new year by going for a run several times a week (this is very common).
So, on January 2nd (when the hangover has subsided) you go out for a short run. A great start. Yesterday was a nice day, was a bit cold but it was nice and dry and somewhat sunny (at least here in Leicester).
But how about today (January 3rd 2012) when it's cold and windy and raining? Would you go out running today? I have to admit that the idea doesn't appeal to me.
But what are you going to do if the weather outside is bad for the next two weeks? Will you invest in some waterproof running gear and go out anyway? Or will you wait until it clears up and then consider it?
Also, imagine that you normally go for a run in the evening after work. But one day, on your scheduled running day, you come home exhausted from a stressful day in the office. The last thing you feel like doing is putting on the trainers and going for a run.
What will you do, go out anyway or just veg in front of the telly?
You can probably understand that the above scenario is very common. We make resolutions with the best will in the world and then question (or even ignore) that resolution when things aren't so favourable.
So, what can you do about it to improve your chances of success?
Well, in my view, the best thing you can do is to make the effort anyway.
And the reason for this is because if you get into the habit of persisting with your commitment to change, even if it's only a small change, the psychological and emotional benefits are huge. This is when you prove to yourself that you can do it.
The key is to make regular decisions to stick with it, to the point that this new way of thinking becomes the norm. And if you do this often enough then change becomes that much easier in the long term.
So, hang in there, stick with it and ultimately you will make your New Year resolutions so much easier to achieve.